Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2015: a Treve-ble?

Ksar, Motrico, Corrida, Tantieme, Ribot, and Alleged.  All champions.  All horses that won the Arc twice.  But none of them ever could win it a third time.  Tomorrow morning, all eyes in the horse racing world will be on France.  The super mare Treve is trying to do the unprecedented, win 3 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.  After a champion-like win in 2013 and an improbable win in 2014, Treve is coming into the Arc in perfect form.  But so much is against her.  First the obvious, no horse has ever won three straight.  Jockeys have won three straight, but never a horse.  Also, no horse older than 4 years old has won this race since 2002 (Marienbard).  Or how no jockey has ever won this race 5 times (Thierry Jarnet has 4 lifetime Arc wins).  And of course 17 other horses that want to take one of the richest and most prestigious races in the world.  So let us go through her major foes and see if anyone can take down the queen of the world.

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October 2nd & 3rd Belmont and Keeneland Grade Stakes Selections

Keeneland Opening Weekend has finally come!  One of the premier racing venues, the opening of the Keeneland fall season means that the Breeders Cup is almost here.  Also, Belmont Park will be holding a stakes heavy card on Saturday, headlined by the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup.  To help you through this weekend’s big races, I have looked at both cards and made selections in each of the stakes races for Friday and Saturday.
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Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion 2015 Analysis

As September nears a close, most 3yo only races have evolved into 3yo and up races, but a few of them stick around til the later part of the year.  Last year, Bayern made his final start before winning the Breeders Cup Classic in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx.  This year, Frosted will try to do the same, but will need to face off against 9 other rivals, including Upstart and Mr. Z.  As for the fillies, the Grade 1 Cotillion hosts a field of top notch horses, including champion Take Charge Brandi, Black Eyed Susan winner Keen Pauline, Alabama winner Embellish the Lace, and Kentucky Oaks 3rd place finisher I’m A Chatterbox.  Both races are very competitive, helping Parx put on a good card this Saturday.

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Kentucky Downs Opening Day Selections 9/5/15

One of the more exciting meets of the season is about to begin.  Kentucky Downs opens up this Saturday.  The completely turf courses with a right handed turn and undulations is unique in the US standard.  Value is abound here at Kentucky Downs and tomorrow will be no different.  Here are my selections for Kentucky Downs, 9/5/15:

  • Race 1:
    • Nate The Natural
    • American Road
    • Roses R Perfect
  • Race 2
    • Al’s Rosie
    • Congrats Honey
    • Franks Officer Gal
  • Race 3
    • Big Kick
    • Hadrian
    • North of Oswego
  • Race 4
    • Jeteffect
    • Entrancing
    • James Lane
  • Race 5
    • One More Strike
    • Mio Me
    • Loom
  • Race 6
    • Whoopie Pie
    • Wayward Kitten
    • Jubal
  • Race 7
    • Moment Is Right
    • War Chant
    • Seaside Schiller
  • Race 8
    • John Q. Public
    • Red Hot Warrior
    • Axtell
  • Race 9
    • Undrafted
    • Regally Ready
    • Skyring
  • Race 10
    • Airoforce
    • Out of the Trappe
    • Diploma
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Kentucky Downs 2015 Preview

Throughout the year, there are so many important boutique meets, Oaklawn Park, Keeneland Spring, Saratoga, and Del Mar, just to name a few.  But none are as interesting and unique as Kentucky Downs.  This Franklin, Kentucky track hosts only a few days of racing a year, but brings out some of the best turf horses the southern US has to offer.  Kentucky Downs in a unique track by US standards, having no dirt course and not being oval in shape.  The mile and three-eights tracks has left and right handed turns, undulations, and requires a different running style, one similar to those used in Europe.  For the 5 days it runs live racing, over $7.5 million in purses will be offered.  12 stakes races will be held, including the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup on September 12th.

The meet starts this Saturday, September 5th, with three stakes races carded for the day, the Kentucky Downs Juvenile, Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, and the More Than Ready mile.  The Kentucky Downs Juvenile, sponsored as the Calumet Farms Juvenile, draws a field of 10.  Saratoga Special 4th place finisher John Q. Public draws the rail while favorite One Legend draws the outside.  Woodbine shipper Axtell for Mark Casse as well as former Newcastle runner Good Intent add to the field.  Jockey Kieren Fallon takes a few mounts on the card, still searching for his second US win after moving across the pond this Spring.  The Juvenile Fillies draws a full field of 16, with 12 making it into the starting gate.  Bolton Landing Stakes winner Simple Surprise is the 3/1 favorite.  Schuylerville 4th place finisher and Astoria winner Moment Is Right is right to her outside.  As for the More than Read Mile, this field has the look of a Grade II, if not a Grade I.  Undrafted, Departing, Regally Ready, Skyring, and Tourist all come into this race, each hoping to get into the Breeders Cup Mile field on Halloween.  Tourist hasn’t raced since his 13th place finish in last years Breeders Cup Mile while Skyring has been going around the US searching for a win.  Undrafted returns to the States after a win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot.  Departing tries to repeat his Firecracker Stakes success and get another win in Kentucky while Regally Ready wants to show that he is more than just a sprinter, shipping in from Indiana Grand.

For the bettors, Kentucky Downs has the best value in the country.  You can bet the favorite in every race and make a very nice profit.  Kentucky Downs offers enough value that you can’t go wrong with betting this track.

Enjoy the races at Kentucky Downs and look for my full card selections for Opening Day at Kentucky Downs sometime tomorrow.

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A Champion Showed Up at Saratoga

Yesterday, 50,000 fans packed Saratoga Race Course to watch Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.  The rest of the card was just for show.  Outside of the handicappers, most people couldn’t tell you one thing about the rest of the card.  But just shy of 45 minutes before the Travers, a globetrotter showed up.  Juddmonte has owned some of the greatest race horses in history, Frankel, Dancing Brave, Twice Over, Warning, Danehill, Rail Link, Ryafan, Cacique, Empire Maker, Seek Again, Cityscape, and numerous others.  And that is just the horses that I found with a once over of their Wikipedia page.  One horse not in that conversation, Flintshire.  Looking at a piece of paper that shows what races he has won, very unimpressive.  For a horse that has raced 16 times with only 4 wins and only one win since July of 2013, what is there to like about him? How about his 8 seconds? Or his multiple runner up finishes to the world’s best horse, Treve?  Or maybe how he has races in 5 different countries?  Or how his pedigree is top class?  Flintshire just doesn’t like to win… well rather he likes a firm ground and going right handed.  Sorry buddy, you won’t be getting both of those conditions anywhere I know.  But at least he got the firm ground he has been looking for.

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2015 Travers Stakes

HRS Summer SeriesAmerican Pharoah makes his next start today at Saratoga in the Travers Stakes.  Unlike in the Haskell, there is no pace in this race to challenge American Pharoah early.  While usually I would make that situation a winning one, there have been far too many lone speed leaders go down at the wire at Saratoga, not to mention as a favorite.  American Pharoah enters the Graveyard of Champions hoping to do what many of his predecessors couldn’t do before him, win at Saratoga.  Neither Secretariat nor Man O’War could come away with a win.  But American Pharoah is 17 Man O’War’s (at least Man O’War appears 17 times in American Pharoah’s extended pedigree).  Only Whirlaway has done the Triple Crown-Travers double.  Could it be done today?  Well let’s see.\

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